The Fresh Loaf

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Waffles and pancakes using Reinhardt's standard starter

medora66's picture

Waffles and pancakes using Reinhardt's standard starter

Hi all,

I am brand new to sourdough -- and breadmaking, really.  I just got Peter Reinhart's new book last week and find it really great.  

I have some leftover mother starter today and really wanted to make waffles ... but when I started to look up recipes, I saw notations for different types of hydration requirements for the various waffle recipes.  I'm so new to this that this is fairly intimidating to me.  I don't really know what hydration Peter's starter is at (all I know is that it is very doughy and thick, and it doesn't seem like it will work in alot of the recipes I'm finding online).  I was using a different starter (via some very bad and unreliable instructions) previously ... the starter was almost liquid, and it did make some good pancakes, but the bread was lousy (thus me buying Peter's book).

Is there a delicious recipe I could use using Peter's starter?  And is there another resource I can use for quality recipes using sourdough starter that's consistent with Peter's for things other than bread?  

Per the hydration issue, and my lack of understanding ... if I get Peter's other book (the Apprentice) ... would that help?  I'm also going to look a little more around this site and see what I can figure out.  

I'm trying not to get too overwhelmed by all this -- that's the idea.  If it gets to be too much to figure out I'm a little afraid I'll quit!

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

and I make them all the time with whatever starter leftovers I have around.  I really don't worry much about the hydration of the starter I begin with, and focus more on the consistency of the batter I end up with.  We like our pancakes thin toward the crepe end of the spectrum, but we like our waffles toothy and substantial.  I make both from the same basic formula (see below) and adjust the consistency of the batter accordingly.

Here is my basic pancake/waffle recipe:

2 Cups starter at room temp (I just pull my discard out of the fridge and use it)
2 Tbsp gran. sugar
1 Lg Egg
4 Tbsp Oil (Olive, Vege, melted/softened butter or what-have-you)
1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda
1/4 Cup warm water

I begin by diluting my starter leftovers with a little warm water down to a little thicker than I want my batter.  Then I add the other batter ingredients together, mix with a large whisk until smooth and adjust the consistency to my satisfaction. Dilute the baking soda in the warm water to prepare the leavening, and add it to the batter.  Fold it in thoroughly or blend gently with the whisk till combined, and let it sit.  It will foam up and raise the batter in the bowl.  Make sure you use one that will allow for double or more your volume, because this is the same chemistry used to make those school science fair projects of errupting volcanos!  When the foaming action settles down I stir it gently to make sure everything is combined well, and start cooking.

A couple of notes:
- It took a couple of batches to figure out what I wanted to satisfy our taste for thin pancakes.  The same was true of waffles, and I sometimes get the batter too thin for waffles, so I just add back some flour to thicken it up. 
-You will notice there is no flour added to this recipe.  All the flour comes from the starter.  Just stop diluting it when it is the right consistency.

I cook the pancakes on an old WestBend electric griddle set to about 300F.  I don't actually know what the true temp is though.  I just set the dial there and cook away.

As for the rest, don't give up!  Just hang in there, and continue to post your questions here on TFL.  There are a lot of excellent mentors here, and you will get the hang of it.  Just remember, sourdough takes more patience than baking with commercial yeast, and the secret to success is in minding the details.

Good Luck

btw:  Credit where credit is due:  the original pancake recipe came from Northwest Sourdough

Broc's picture

Percentages -- looks intimidating.  But -- This really is easy-peasey.

Everything is based upon the amount of flour.  For example --

If you have 100 oz of flour, and 10 oz of liquid, you have 10% hydration.

If you have 100 oz of flour and 60 oz of liquid, you have 60% hydration.

If you have 30 oz of flour and 20 oz of liquid, you have 66% hydration.

All other elements of a recipe are measured as weights vrs the amount of flour.

If you have 50 oz of flour, and 1 oz salt, the salt is 2%.


~ Broc




Yumarama's picture

It's not his starter, it's yours. Once you've got it cultivated and it's expanding in about 4-6 hours after each feed, it's an active starter, like any other active starter, Peter's, yours, mine, Jane's or John's, etc.. 

So give your starter a name and really make it your own pet.

OK, now that you have a starter of your own (congratulations!) let's see what hydration it is so you can use it in any recipe you want.

How much 'old' starter do you do you use in your feed, how much water do you then add, and how much flour do you add to that to make your 'new' starter? If the water and the flour weights are the same, then you've got a 100% hydration starter. You can also follow Brock's description above to see what other hydration level you might have. 

You can always adjust your current starter to suit a recipe; you just need to know what your mother starter's hydration is and adjust the water or flour accordingly for the next feed.




jackie9999's picture

There is recipe on KAF for waffles that has quite a few good has lots of pictures and looks easy to make:

Since I don't have a waffle iron (yet) I'm limited to just pancakes and this recipe has worked out really well for's forgiving in that you can just throw in what you have available:

With these recipes hydration doesn't really matter much...